DENHAM SPRINGS — St. Amant baseball coach Troy Templet glanced over his shoulder briefly as the Denham Springs players gathered around the mound for a post-game meeting.
“That’s been our MO. … We’ve been there,” Templet said. “We’ve been up and down and given away our share of games. It’s nice to finally be on the other side of one of those. That’s a quality win on the road over a team that has a lot of wins.”
Aided by three costly DSHS errors, the Gators scored seven runs in the top of the seventh to notch an 11-7 come-from-behind victory over Denham Springs in a nondistrict game Friday night at North Park.
Second baseman Hayden Mallory delivered a key RBI double in the top of the seventh and turned a double play in the bottom of the inning to help close out the win for St. Amant (10-8).
Mallory finished 2-for-4. So did right fielder Zane Zeppuhar and Reed Babin. Babin had two RBIs. Reliever Griffin Edwards threw one inning and got the win, with Zeppuhar picking up the save.
“We’ve been trying to work on our mental toughness,” Templet said. “I didn’t tell them a thing before the top of the seventh. They kept believing and grinding.”
Mallory added, “Coach always preaches for us never give up. We didn’t, and once we got to their bullpen, we were able to slap it around a little bit.”
Second baseman Braden Doughty had two hits and scored three runs for the Yellow Jackets (12-6). Cam DeBate also had two hits and two RBI for DSHS, which rallied from an early deficit and led 7-4 through six innings. Reliever Taylor Higgins got the loss.
Third baseman Ivan Prejean opened the top of the seventh with a double, took third on a passed ball and scored on error, which proved to be a sign of things to come. He came up again and reached on an error that brought the final run in to score.
Babin singled with one out after Prejean scored to start the offensive outburst that included an RBI double by Mallory. One of the umpires was hit by the ball on one infield play, which allowed the Gators to load the bases. But another error opened the door for an inning to continue that saw 11 SAHS batters come to the plate.
“The good thing about our bunch so far is that we haven’t given a lot of games away,” DSHS coach Mark Carroll said. “But then you have the EA game Tuesday, and now this one.
“We gift-wrapped it and handed it to them. You’re not going to make seven errors and beat a good T-ball team.”
Denham Springs took the lead with two runs in the fourth and added two more in the fifth. The Yellow Jackets benefitted from two St. Amant errors in the fifth.
In the bottom of the seventh, Mallory fielded a grounder, tagged out the runner going to second and threw to first to complete a double play. Zeppuhar then got a strikeout to end the game.
“This is still that time where we’re taking one last look at some things before district starts Thursday,” Carroll said. “We’ll be back at it tomorrow morning in practice.”